Unreal Nature

March 28, 2016

Breath From Below

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:51 am

… his path has been a continual rethinking, or rather, a pulsation between opposites that anchor the image to the earth.

Continuing through Michael Heizer by Germano Celant (1997):

… the megalithic design creates a change of mentality towards the construction of vital, energetic architectures, in a similar way to the sacred, spiritual buildings of antiquity, Chinese and Indian, Persian and Egyptian. “It is interesting to build a sculpture that attempts to create an atmosphere of awe. Small works are said to do this but this is not my experience.

[line break added] Immense, architecturally-sized sculpture creates both the object and the atmosphere. Awe is a state of mind equivalent to religious experience. I think if people feel commitment they feel something has been transcended. To create a transcendent work of art means to go past everything.”

… The installation of Double Negative is based on the fundamentals of archaic architectures, for it experiences nature as animated, permeated with an artistic spirit that makes it qualitatively different. It does not, however, distinguish itself from the sacred and ritual spaces, charged with numinous power, that have been built over the centuries.

[line break added] These magnetic architectures, centers of energy and spiritual action — such as the T’ai Shan in eastern China, the neolithic monuments of Aveburry, in Wiltshire, the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon at Teotihuacan, Mexico, the Great Serpent’s Mound in Adams County, Ohio, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Thebes in Egypt, Chichen Itza in the Yucatan, Mexico, and the Pyramid of Zoser at Saqqara, Egypt — are familiar to Heizer, who has studied them carefully.

[line break added] He is aware, however, that their archaic mythology has nothing to offer to our epoch: “Who, in our time, wants processionals for spirits, sacrificial platforms, or ceremonial buildings? These functions are no longer meaningful, but are interesting for contemporary society if phrased in terms it can identify with.”

… Feeling the material and the sculpture means letting them speak, as though performing a work of excavation by virtue of which an element exists just long enough to be translated into something other than itself. The artist re-enacts creation, repeating the demiurgic gesture that gave life to the world as we know it. Taking cognizance of the laws of art, sculpture and painting means rediscovering their primordial creative power, the breath from below.

… Antithesis underlies all of Heizer’s research, and for this reason his path has been a continual rethinking, or rather, a pulsation between opposites that anchor the image to the earth. The prolonged attention he has given to gravity and ponderability, as crystallized in primary forms, has always sought expression outside a figural, mimetic image of reality.

[line break added] The volume, cut out or constructed with the idea of a negative or positive fullness, have always followed the metaphysical schema of a process of abstraction from the real. The emptiness and fullness never constitute a figure; they are always structural and geometrical.

Heizer_AdjAgainstUpon
Adjacent, Against, Upon, 1976; “The rocks in the sculpture … are not touched at all, they were just drilled and broken loose and brought in. They have their spirit, not mine.” — Michal Heizer

My most recent previous post from Celant’s book is here.

-Julie

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